I know…this sounds all touchy feely. Well it is! A little background info on me: I am a Husband, Dad, Teacher, Coach, EdTech Junkie, and always looking forward. The always looking forward issue is both good and bad, I want to be a teacher on the edge (in a good way), but this can sometimes take me out of the present. The result is that sometimes things that I say in the classroom don’t come across to the students the way that it sounds in my head. I have the highest expectations for my students. This drives some of them crazy. I expect them to thirst for learning, and have an inner drive that pushes them to explore their own learning. I expect them to take charge of themselves in a positive and resourceful way. I want to get out the way and be a facilitator. So…there are times when some of my kids sit and don’t…do…much…at…all….
On the other side of this is the intense battle to improve education in my state, but teachers and representatives are very far apart on ideas. I don’t think that I am making this up but there was something like 400 bills in our capital building that dealt with education. Wow…this is frustrating as well. Typically these bills will include all types of different mandates, which cost my district money to implement, but that money is not coming from the state. I don’t expect to get rich teaching, not why I started in the first place, but milk is more expensive now than it was 7 years ago. The longer that I have taught the more passion I have for doing the right thing for our students. The longer I teach the more I feel like people who are making the legislation that applies to schools base their ideas on personal experiences from when they were in school. Times have changed and this frustrates me. Ipads, Surfaces, MacBooks, Windows PC’s, Interactive Whiteboards don’t magically show up. And when the leaders of our state use phrases that demean or put down teachers…well…
I try super hard never let my kids know when I am having a bad day. There have been a couple of times that I have felt horrible and stayed in class, but its often easier to finish the day out than get a sub (only teachers understand this one). But when you put all of the dynamics that are swirling around education right now, it makes me really sad and really mad and all at the same time. I get frustrated with the student who just looks at me, then keeps right on doing nothing. If they just knew what an opportunity that they are wasting. Or when a parent does everything they can do to voice/dump/show their extreme displeasure with how I am ruining their child. I don’t expect to get along with every parent, but I am not intentionally trying to ruin them either. There are a lot of things that I am doing super great in my classroom – but when someone gets that one awkward view of class from the distance…well, my room could look like chaos.
I am not saying that I am the best teacher in the universe. Far from it! I have areas to grow as a teacher, things that I can learn to do better, new things all the time to learn. The day that I stop desiring to improve, will be the day that I step out of teaching and do something else. And let me tell you that time is not now! I wake up at all hours with ideas, I am in my building well before our contract day, I am working way past (check out my week in the life of post here…). I love what I do, but I have feelings too. It would be nice to hear positive things about my profession from our state leaders. It would be great if parents would be more proactive with teachers and less reactive. And maybe I should work harder to send out those positive and encouraging emails to parents as well, get some two way happiness going…
How about if we think something good about someone we say it?? I appreciate you Justin Coffelt, Carrie Higdon, Emily Steele, Brandon Kysar, Debreon Davis and Bill Bays! I know that you guys work really hard for me and I don’t always see everything that you do. Thank you Debbie Bendick for always supporting me, even when I would come up with some crazy idea! Thank you David Goin for being such an exceptional leader! I know that you deserve to retire, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it! Much Professional Love Kristina Stevenson for going along with several of my hair brained schemes and mostly enjoying the ride (and for telling me when things are just too darn crazy)! Kevin McDonald, Regan Killackey, Jared Keester, Greg Oppel and TJ Dortch – Bro Love to you guys, you are the epitome of amazing! I have really come to appreciate my #OklaEd PLN – I am so invigorated when I see what all of you brilliant people are doing! You Are Amazing People and the reason why our state has such a bright future!! Thank you Martha Wissler for having passion for teachers! David Glassman and Will Stoskopf – you taught me how to be a successful soccer coach and have integrity while doing it. I miss you guys every time I take the pitch! Jenny Davis – the passion you have for your students is unparalleled and will be a huge hole next year! I appreciate all of the teachers that my own kids have had so far in their very short education journeys. You are making a difference every day! Never forget that!! To all of those students who worked their fingers to the bone for me, asking questions, putting in the work, coming in during lunch, before school, after school – I HAVE LOVED EVERY MINUTE! Thank you for making me feel like I am making a difference!!!!
THANK YOU JAZMIN HASELWOOD – you have allowed me to be passionately involved with high school kids for 16 glorious years and without you the journey would not have been so awesome. Thank YOU! To my three kids – thanks for being you little guys! I love you bunches and am thankful everyday for each one of you! You make a difference in my life everyday and almost always bring a smile to brighten my face! And thanks to my parents – all of them – for always encouraging me to chase my dreams! I am still chasing, but now have my own family in tow on the journey! I love you guys!
*If you feel like I left you out of my appreciations/thank you’s it was not intentional, so many people have left such a positive mark in my life, there is no way to list them all without leaving someone out 🙂
Man – that felt good! I hope that you noticed the change in mood as I got to the appreciation part of this post. It does make a difference! Now go out and BE GREAT AND AWESOME TODAY!! And if you feel good too, then leave a comment below about a teacher who made a difference in your life!